Fox News reports that Congressional Republicans are looking for the Biden administration to explain what role teacher unions had in influencing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) school reopening guidance.
This comes after recent reports that indicated that the CDC changed its school reopening guidance after input from teacher unions.
This was discovered in emails between the CDC and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA). These are two of the country’s biggest teacher unions.
On Wednesday, a group of Republican Senators wrote a letter to the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demanding answers about this apparent collusion.
“Recently released emails show close coordination between the CDC and teachers unions on the language of school reopening guidance,” the letter reads. “Political interference from administration-friendly special interest groups that is divorced from science harms children who have been lacking in-person instruction for prolonged periods of time.”
The senators who wrote the letter were Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rand Paul (R-KY), and James Lankford (R-OK), Rick Scott (R-FL, and Josh Hawley (R-MO). They are all members of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
In the letter, the GOP Senators went on to detail what the emails between the CDC, the AFT, and NEA show.
And then, the senators concluded with a series of requests. The requests include all documents and communications with AFT and NEA and a list of other non-governmental organizations that may have been involved in shaping the CDC’s school reopening guidance.
The White House’s stance
Both the White House as well as the CDC claim that the collusion between the teacher unions and the CDC was normal and not unethical.
“It’s actually a longstanding best practice for the CDC to engage with organizations and groups that are going to be impacted by guidance and recommendations issued by the agency,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said.
Republicans, however, have argued that this is not the case and that the Biden administration allowed various left-wing groups to call the shots here which, in turn, has hurt America’s school-age children.
The CDC and HHS have yet to respond to the GOP Senators’ letter.